What is the Average Cost to Create an App in 2021?

March 26, 2021

Reading time about 7 minutes

Around 4.66 billion people around the world make use of the internet, as recorded in January 2021, which is close to 60 percent of the world’s total population. Similarly, the smartphone users’ graph is also steep, wherein the number of smartphone users worldwide today surpasses three billion and further forecasted to grow by several hundred million in the next few years.

App Estimate

When smartphones are just as basic as our other regular necessities, there are fair chances that mobile apps can be the new regular. The major reason why mobile applications will continue the growth is because it’s more of a bridge between the digital and the physical world, it will not just affect the digital operations but have the power to transform the entire business.

Now you would have either of the questions in mind, how much would be the total cost for developing an app? Or what are the features the costing depends on? While searching you may encounter various app cost calculator which can help in determining the cost based on features, different aspects, and pre-set parameters (variable). Talking about the average mobile app development costing, the sum can be varied from $20,000 to $250,000, well, this seems a huge gap! This is probably because there’s a lot that comprises of an app and the more you wish to add in, the higher the cost will be.

What Affects Mobile App Development Cost?

No app development company can determine the exact cost just in a 5-minute conversation, here are some factors affecting the cost, here are a few major ones-

  • Project Type (CRM, Marketplace, HER, etc.)
  • Features/Functionalities
  • Customization of Visual Design
  • Platforms
  • Backend Infrastructure and App Administration
  • Location and Structure of Development Team or Developers hired separately
  • In house or Outsource Development
  • Hourly Costings

Factors Determining the Cost of Developing an app

Though the mobile app is a general term it does have an array of features determining the total cost. Also, to clarify a few misconnections, “High Price equals to Better Quality” or “Startups aren’t the right choice”, neither of the statements makes sense as believing the same can let you pay a higher price for similar services offered by a competitor in lower pricing. Let’s have a look at the major aspects affecting your mobile app development cost-

  • Business Model

A successful-looking business idea can end up being a failure without a planned implementation. In the super-competitive era, every other business is setting its goals, to match the race it’s imperative to have a successful business model. So, what exactly is a business model? it’s basically variants of factors before one decides to kick start a business. These factors include the following points to be kept for consideration-

– Target Audience

– The kind of solution brand willing to offer

– Knowing the customer and how to target them

– A marketing strategy

– Determining the major source of revenue

Taking an example of eBay in comparison to leading giants including Amazon & Walmart, eBay failed to engage customers in the long term as the quality has degraded each year. Failing to which it is somehow out from the competition today. The only difference between a successful and a failed business idea is the market study and right approach.

  • Type of Application

Choosing what kind of app will be best suited to your business is also an imperative task, which contributes greatly to determine the cost of mobile app development. Here are the three types of applications to be considered-

– Web App

Firstly, the web app isn’t a website or a downloadable mobile application, it is basically a mobile version of a website. The best part being, it’s real cheap (at least from the rest) and in that kind of low budget, it uses a responsive design ensuring a smooth user interface across different sorts of screen sizes. Also, note that web apps aren’t much preferred due to its limited feature stack and low performance.

– Native App

Now if you have a plan to launch different applications for different platforms like iOS and Android, having a native app is a must. Built on Swift or Objective C for iOS platform and Java or Kotlin for Android, native applications are the most complex of all. At the same time, these apps are quite an expensive deal as they require specialized developers to build an app.

– Cross-Platform Apps

Known as Hybrid App or cross-platform apps, these types of apps are built using a combination of web and native technologies. In case you’re targeting a large audience base, cross-platform apps are the best choice! why? Firstly, they can run on all operating systems including iOS, Android, and Windows, secondly, they are low in maintenance. They can be the best choice in terms of capabilities and the ones willing to save on app development.

  • Platform

Another aspect could be the kind of platform you need your app to live on. Depending upon your target audience, determine if you wish to launch your app both on iOS and Android simultaneously or need to choose one at a time. Still, confused? Let’s compare both and find out-

– Market Share

Initially, iOS was overtaking Android’s share in the mobile market globally, while with the years passing by Android took over the race. Recent forecasts say that by 2022, Android is likely to own 86.2% of the world’s mobile market, which is around 6 times higher than iOS.

App average cost

– Development Complexity

Understand the process in the simple way, iOS is an operating system that has a limited number of devices compatible with the same, including iPhone, iPad, and iPod. While in the case of Android, there are an array of options with different brands, screen sizes, etc.

– Development Time

iOS is always less time taking in comparison to Android, which takes 30-40% longer time to build the apps. It is clear that building an iOS app cost lesser than choosing android app development.

  • Functionality

Well, this is the main factor that contributes to determining the overall app development cost. Though a basic app either for iOS or Android has its fixed specific prices the more we like to add in features, the expensive it will cost. Thus, we cannot determine the exact costing without finalizing the features and functionality one wishes to include. The functionality-wise costing mostly depends on the app development company you choose.

  • Designing and Development

One can aim, determine, and find the right functionalities for their upcoming mobile app development but, it’s nothing without the right design and development. Always be double sure when you’re choosing the developer. There are majorly two options, either hire freelancers to work separately for your project, get it done in the specified timeline and have no option to support or

resolve queries in later phases or choose a mobile app development company having a team of experts, which will eventually charge you a higher amount but will stay there for 24/7 support even once the project is delivered.

Here’s a brief costing estimate of hiring app developers globally-
cost app calculator

Calculating Average App Development Cost

As we have briefly discussed app costing based on different factors, let’s find the app development timeline along with the average costing based on the type of app you wish to build.

  • Simple Applications

These apps include basic functionalities and no requirement of third-party API integration, and might not need a backend infrastructure. These apps take around 1000 hours to complete and the average costing starts from $30,000.

  • Normal Complexity Applications

These apps’ features include a bit more than simple applications such as UI features, real-time chat, payment functionalities, etc. it takes around 1800 working hours to build the app and the cost starts from $50,000.

  • Highly Complex Applications

These apps include complex functionalities like audio/video processing, real-time sync, custom animations, integrations with third-party services, etc. The required timeframe is 2,400+ hours and the costing starts from $80,000.

Approximate App Development Cost based on Firm Size

App Cost

Final Thoughts

Concluding the entire discussion, we got the various factors determining the costing, different options which contribute to the rise of pricing, and finally the average cost of designing mobile apps. Be wise and choose the right features, platform, business model, and most importantly the right developers to get your app working